Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, make new friends and even find yourself. But unfortunately, many people are hesitant to become volunteer firefighters, EMTs or first responders because they don’t know where to start. That’s why it’s vital that you advertise your opportunity in the right way so you can attract the right people. Here are five tips for creating an effective volunteer ad:
Know Your Audience
To create the ideal volunteer advertisement, you must know your audience. You should be aware of their needs, demographics, interests and concerns. It would help if you also had a good grasp on their goals. The more information you can gather about your ideal volunteer base, the better able you will be to tailor your advertisement accordingly.
Does your community know your department’s Mission Statement? The people in your community will read this, so ensure it is accurate. If you must, take some time to re-draft your mission statement to more closely match your cause. Nothing is more disappointing to a volunteer than to give to a department that doesn’t represent what they said they stood for.
Give Them a Sample
Keep it simple and grab people’s attention quickly.
Consider removing the extra text many departments write to sensationalize their advertisement. It’s more important to be authentic and keep messages simple. Give people the information they must need. Leave out all the rest.
Customize the Opportunity
The ad needs to be customized and relevant when creating a volunteer advertisement. You can’t just come up with an opportunity and expect it to appeal to everyone. You must ensure that it’s appealing, straightforward and easy for your audience members to understand. You also want them to know how they can participate in your department, so if there are any special requirements, particular skills or experience – don’t forget those details!
Try not to jam all of your opportunities into an ad or post. Many departments throw every membership opportunity into one ad. Create a few different advertisements and posts.
- Auxiliary, Administration, Social
- Fire Police
- Junior/Youth Members
You want potential volunteers who are excited about contributing on an ongoing basis rather than just helping out when needed. Use this information to create compelling and appealing messages that will appeal specifically to those people.
Invite Enthusiasm and Collaboration
Inviting current volunteers to share their experiences, knowledge and expertise is a great way to invite enthusiasm and collaboration. You can ask them if they are willing to answer questions from prospective volunteers or share information about their volunteer experience on social media. You could also ask them if they would be willing to share their skills with other potential volunteers in the future or invite them to submit articles for publication on your website. This type of invitation shows that you value what your members offer, making them more likely to respond positively when you ask for their help later.
Perfecting Your Volunteer Pitch
Creating the perfect advertisement is a process. It’s not a one-off activity done in one day but rather an ongoing process of refining and testing. There are many ways to advertise your volunteering opportunities, and it’s up to each organization to decide which approach is best suited for them. But if you follow these tips and think about how you want your ad read by its audience, then there’s no doubt it will be successful! Good luck!